Cement Tile Application Guide

Encaustic cement tile or concrete tiles can be used in the following commercial and residential applications.  Make sure you are clear on the limitations for wet, freeze / thaw, and outdoor applications.  All cement tiles can be used on walls as a veneer or surface covering, including commercial applications

Wall Floor Indoor Wet Outdoor Freeze Vehicle
Heritage Y Y Y Y Y N N
Elevations Y N Y N Y N N
Fragments Y N Y N Y N N
Classic Y Y Y Y Y N N
Mission Y Y Y Y Y N N
Arabesque Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Rustic Y Y Y Y Y Y Y




Residential Interior Applications  

Cement and concrete tile can be used for just about any residential interior applications including floors, walls and ceilings. Examples include a bathroom wall, kitchen floor, kitchen backsplash, dining room floor, living room floor, entryway, den, library, stair, fireplace surround and laundry room.

Cement Tile and Wet Applications The tiles can also be used in wet areas such as the bathroom floor, shower floor and shower wall with the following cautions:

Slip Resistance
Cement tiles will become more slippery when wet. For wet applications, be sure to use a penetrating sealer, and avoid any topical sealer or waxes.  In the final stages of installation, be sure that the installer minimizes buffing to avoid polishing the tiles.
Moisture can activate the minerals in the cement and bring them to the tile surface in the form of efflorescence (a white powder). To prevent efflorescence in wet areas, it is important to seal the tiles thoroughly.

Chemical Damage - Cement and Concrete Tile applications in pools and fountains may suffer surface damage from pool chemicals.  Cement tiles are can't resist high and low pH and can be damaged from strong acids and bases. Pool chemicals may react with the surface layer of the tiles. Many customers have used cement tiles in pools and fountains with no problems. However, some customers reported damage from chemical interaction.


Residential Exterior Applications

Cement and concrete tile can be used for exterior applications.  However, radiant energy from the sun can cause fading when installed on sidewalks or open (uncovered) patios.
For exterior applications where the cement tiles will be exposed to the sun, there is a risk of the colors fading. The most vulnerable colors are blues and greens. If you are planning an outdoor cement tile application, we recommend selecting colors other than blues and greens. There are also sealers that provide UV protection for the tiles.
Encaustic cement tile should not be used in applications subjected to hard freeze thaw cycles because of the risk of cracking that can occur to the tile. Water in the cement tile body will expand when frozen and cracking will usually occur after several hundred cycles.  
Arabesque and Rustic Cement tiles are freeze / thaw rated. These tiles differ because they are pre-cast cement tiles.  These tiles are rated for frosty environments and have been tested for this use.



Commercial Tile Installations

Cement and Concrete tiles are installed on floors, walls and even ceilings in cafes, restaurants, resorts, hotels, spas, retail stores, and offices. The tiles are great choice for commercial applications because they are so durable and easy to maintain.